Last Friday, we shared our November Grant finalists.
As always, the WomensNet community made our decision a difficult one.
But today, we’re happy to put November Grant winner Lara Cornell, Founder and Owner of Anahata Collaborative, in the spotlight.
Continue on to read about her truly multidimensional business…
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Founder/Owner Lara Cornell.
WN: How did Anahata Collaborative come about and what purpose does it serve?
LC: Anahata Collaborative came from my own personal journey into finding my heart centered career path. With a background in retail, management and international travel, I recently added the title of artist and wellness professional (with various wellness certifications) on top of it. Over the past couple years people started to ask me what I was going to do with all my new skills. My answer was always “I don’t know, but I know it’s going to be a space. Some sort of space for art and wellness to come together”. The vision for this space changed throughout the next couple years from a local maker retail shop, to a yoga studio, to an art studio… and eventually I realized it’s just that, a space. Anahata (which refers to the Heart Chakra in sanskrit) Collaborative was to be a space for art and wellness to blend together. After all, art is healing, and healing is art. This space would encourage collaboration, such as a photographer collaborating with a nutritionist and see what they come up with. Or a painter and yoga teacher. Or a writer and an energy worker. The combinations are as endless as the possibilities. Through collaboration we grow and we find new and unique ways to build our careers and reach out community. We aim to explore the intersection between art and wellness and bring our discovery out into the greater community through a variety of ways including “doing good” and giving from our Heart Chakra as well. Our goal is to encourage collaboration, discussion, discovery, and help heart centered entrepreneurs build their own businesses so they can show up to the world as their best selves and be able to make a difference.
WN: What type of response have you received from the community?
LC: My community has been incredible! I’ve been meeting so many amazing people whom I would never have met if I had not started this project. A lot of this is still in the infancy stage since we just opened this fall and we are still meeting and listening with our target audience to better understand their needs. I have begun partnering with non-profits in the area who support the arts, wellbeing, small business entrepreneurs and others. We had our first Local Maker Market pop-up shop this past week, which was a great success. I look forward to having more of these in the future! We are also expanding our collaborations in order to provide more business classes to our members as well as a speaker series for the upcoming year. We have opened up our venue to encourage more events such as Offbeat weddings, and corporate team building events (with offerings in art and wellness). It seems like every day there is a new idea (gallery shows, music series, women’s empowerment offerings, and more), and it’s been incredibly inspiring.
WN: Are there any other collaboratives in your area?
LC: Minneapolis is blessed to have an abundance of creative people and be a community conscious of health and wellbeing. There are many online groups, as well as groups which meet once a month or less, and an active arts district. Anahata Collaborative, however, is unique in that it encourages the blending of art and wellness and strives to bring them together, in addition to helping people in these fields build their businesses and be successful. We also aim to gather and collaborate on a weekly basis helping entrepreneurs keep accountable, inspired, and educated.
WN: Who would you consider your competition (if anyone)?
LC: Coworking spaces are becoming very popular in Minneapolis, but Anahata isn’t exactly a coworking space even if people are working in the space. It’s a true collaborative community with a large focus on helping our members and bringing them together, while doing good in the community.
WN: What are your plans for the grant funds and the future of Anahata Collaborative?
LC: With this grant we will be hosting a farm-to-table dinner for a select group of artists and wellness professionals. Anahata Collaborative will be teaming up with an art non-profit as well as a school of wellness to open up the discussion on the intersection of art and wellness. We will intentionally select different types of artist and different types of wellness professionals so we have a variety of skills and resources. What we want to uncover is how art and wellness intersect, how we can bring it out into the community, the benefits of blending these two fields together, and how to help entrepreneurs in these particular fields build their businesses (unique challenges, obstacles, needs, how they are similar, how they differ). After this dinner, with additional grant money, we would like to implement our findings. We foresee business classes agreed upon to be beneficial, community gatherings/events, and continued discussions/panels/presentations on this intersection through local museums and wellness schools which would also facilitate community outreach. If it permits, we’d really enjoy collaborating with some unique non-profits doing work pertaining to this particular intersection.
WN: What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
LC: Follow your heart. It’s going to be really hard, and bumpy, and you’re going to feel insane at times, but keep going. Your heart knows the way.
Thanks for reading, and a huge thank you to Lara for her time. If you’re interested in applying for the December Grant, get started today.